Mysteries of Kongzhai

Tue, April 12, 2011 | ART 1.120

5:00 PM

In recent decades, the religious aspect of traditional veneration of Confucius (ca. 551-479 BCE) have been denied and surpressed, and the ancient sage is usually portrayed as a paragon of secular humanism and ethical culture.  This conception makes it hard to grasp the significance of Kongzhai, a now-destroyed shrine on the edge of Shanghai, where a seventh-century descendant allegedly burried Confucius' cap, robe, and jade ornaments.  My lecture will examine the multivalent significance of these "relics" and their relationships to alternative forms of representation, such as iconic images and illustrated hagiographies, which made Kongzhai a destination for scholarly pilgrimage from the 17th to the 20th century.

Talk presented by Dr. Julia Murray, Professor of Art History, East Asian Studies, and Religious Studies; Senior Fellow in the Institute for Research in the Humanities University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sponsored by: Department of Art and Art History

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